I Love Konbini: No Coffee in Japanese Konbini, No Life
As I wrote in my previous post, I love konbini (convenience store) in Japan.
I often use it, especially after work.
And, I usually drink canned coffee when taking breaks.
This time, I’ll be introducing about coffee of konbini that every Japanese businessman cannot live without.
About product labels
If you take a closer look at the product labels, you’ll see the words “コーヒー”, means coffee, or “乳飲料” (milk-based drinks) written on it.
Then you might think, “What’s the difference?”
Actually, product labelling is controlled by Japanese government.
For coffee products, labels vary based on the amount of coffee beans as shown below:
[Amount of Coffee Beans and Product Labels]
|Coffee：||over 5g / 100g|
|Coffee-based drinks：||2.5~5g / 100g|
|Soft drinks containing coffee：||1~2.5g / 100g|
|Milk-based drinks：||products that contain over 3% milk solid (even if it clears the conditions for coffee product labelling)|
By the way, the Fair Trade Commission sets the rules for labelling of coffee products while the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for dairy products.
Canned coffee is selling very well in Japan, to the point that every beverage manufacturer has its own brand.
Of course, there is also a wide variety of canned coffee in konbini.
Some of them are:
– GEORGIA (Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd.)
– BOSS (Suntory Beverage & Food Limited)
– FIRE (Kirin Beverage Co., Limited)
– WONDA (Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd.)
– Roots (Japan Tobacco (JT) Inc.)
Chilled cup coffee products are also abundant. Most of them are from famous coffee shops such as Starbucks, DOUTOR, Mt. RAINIER, or konbini chain’s own brand.
There are only few kinds of paper pack coffee available in konbini. You can find them displayed along with milk and vegetable juice products. Most of them are milk-based drinks such as “Shiro-bara coffee” and “Ko-Iwai coffee”.
Recently, we can buy drip coffee at kobini, too.
Since it is dripped on the spot, it smells and tastes good.
The price ranges from 100 yen to 200 yen which makes it very popular.
Every time a customer makes a drip coffee, its aroma spreads throughout the store.
This reduces the smell of fried food and oden – one reason why konbini chains are putting effort on drip coffee.
Hot & Cold
As canned coffee became widely popular along with vending machines, konbini started to sell both hot and cold canned coffee during cold season.
Being a system engineer, most of the time I work indoor. So, it is difficult for me to feel the change in season. Whenever I see hot coffee being sold at vending machines or konbini, I would think “Oh, it’s already winter…”
By the way, you can buy hot drip coffee all year round but you can only buy cold one during hot season.
Tie-up products are irresistible!
Coffee products in konbini, particularly canned coffee, have tie-ups with toys and anime.
These are the current tie-ups:
– Georgia x JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Part 3: Stardust Crusaders)
This type has anime character printed on the can.
(JoJo’s fan surely can’t resist.)
– WONDA x Tomy
This type has a cap attached on top of the can with small goods inside.
This time, the freebie is a Capsule Tomica car.
Capsule Tomica cars are usually capsule toys in gashapon that cost around 100-200 yen. When it is attached to a coffee product as a freebie, you’ll feel it’s such a good deal!
(My son is also very happy with it! He loves NISSAN GT-R in particular.)
Not so long ago, WANDA also had a tie-up with Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan).
There are tie-ups like these every now and then. So, if you have a chance to come to Japan, don’t forget to check them out!
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